Time to switch the script!
We need more CEOs that understand the customer and actually put them at the center of the business. We need more CEOs that have a responsibility to the world around their business, not just to the bottom line. We need more CEOs that prioritize the innovative, creative capacity of their people. We need more CMOs to become CEOs, just like Jeff Jones (H&R Block), Everette Taylor (Kickstarter), John Dillon (President of Denny’s), and Anne Hand (Super League Gaming).
This will undoubtedly be tough to pull off, but we know there are key levers that Boards of Directors, Succession Planning Teams, and Recruiters will look for individuals to pull if they are going to elevate to the top spot in the company. These levers include:
1 - Making mental (and physical) space for CEO-level concerns. Marketers are trained to put the consumer above all else; that is what drives business. The way CMOs turn up into the board room needs to be with a broader remit and nomenclature. P&L and consumer as the teeter totter they uniquely have to balance to show up as a GM.
2 - Relationships with the CFO. It is not new news that marketers are the great integrators of the C-Suite having to speak multiple languages and cross horizontally into the business to manage dealers, product supply, promotions and employee brand. The critical relationship for CMOs to lean into is the C.F.O. consider them your B.F.F. To get to CEO that relationship is mission critical. Time to brush up on accounting and put some of the marketing networking to the side.
3 - Connecting consumer need with net-new revenue streams. Let’s not forget that the CMO is also the closest c-suite executive responsible for customer value, overall experience and managing feedback in real time today. With the marketing industry changing and shifting constantly, a CMO’s remit can no longer be considered fenced to only marketing communications. They drive revenue for current AND future product opportunities.
Want to activate your CMO-to-CEO career transition plan? Reach out and speak to our advisors. We'd love to help!
*A recent global survey by the Fournaise marketing Group